I'm very fortunate to live a mere 15 minutes from a place that would rival the Star Wars Cantina for seediness, rough trade, and random acts of violence. I'm speaking of course about my local flea market. And today, I gave up the first quarter of what has been the beginning of yet another heart-wrenching season of football, for a quick jaunt past the massage parlor, bail bondsman, and police station to scour the aisles for the best junk and bootlegs money (and black market babies) can buy.
10. Outlaw T-shirts
If you were in a scavenger hunt and you needed a Pancho Villa t-shirt to win, now you'd know where to go. This might, in fact, be the only place on earth where you can get shirts of the famous outlaw. Also available were Che Guevara and Emiliano Zapata, but this was the only one with a horse so it gets the win. For an extra $5, the vendor will bedazzle the shit out of it.
9. Guilt Trip Toys
This Barbie knock-off features a selection of outfits that would make Paris Hilton jealous. Made in China, because of course it was, it features the unfortunately appropriate broken attempt at English phrasing, "The Best Gilt for You." That is, buy these for your daughter or suffer years of guilt, resentment, and spite.
8. (Mad) Doctor Playset
This is an innocuous enough toy. A typical piece of hazardous plastic packaged around the theme of socially acceptable sexual activity for children--playing doctor. But look a little closer at the accessories included:
There's two canisters of unknown origin, a weird mushroom thing, and a computer spinning a DNA helix across the screen. Fuck. This isn't a doctor's kit (at least there's nothing like this at my HMO). These are the tools of some crazed scientist experimenting with gene splicing. If they had only paired this with a Swamp Monster type action figure, this would be the perfect toy.
Also, this kit includes real pills and yet still brazenly contains the choking hazard warning on the back.
7. Too Much Information Underwear
In case you can't read the writing on this pair of panties, it says "Hot Lips". Thank god, there's a picture of actual lips on there otherwise we'd have the most open admission of STD's ever. If only that German au pair you met during the summer had picked up a pair, maybe it wouldn't still burn ever time you pee.
6. Video Game Roulette
On the surface, this is just one of countless knock-off video game consoles being pumped out of China. But look at the box contents that are listed on the front, "Video game console, second console, Toy Gun." That gun is just a gun--it has nothing to do with the game system. Unless, of course, you count pumping a few rounds into Jimmy's ass for beating you for the hundredth time in "Supre Marvio Siblings."
Is this even legal? This guy shows up every week peddling an assortment of domestic and exotic birds. Including one particularly grating parrot that I swear calls me a jerk-off every time I walk by.
4. Hooker Club
I apologize for the blurry picture, but I had to snap it on the run. The guy selling it was twice my height and four times my weight and I make it a personal practice of mine not to bug people who sell knives, machetes, and num chuks for a living (it's worked well for me so far). This piece, however, was special. In case you can't tell, it's a staff with a nasty looking metal skull on the end. The staff is too short to be a cane, and the skull is too big to be anything but a brutal instrument of pain. In fact just about the only acceptable use for this thing would be beating a mouthy hooker who isn't bringing in enough money.
3. Police Brutality Playset
Just when you think the Chinese don't have a good understanding of American culture, they go and export something like this little treasure to us. The name of this kit is called, "Police Force" and you get the distinct impression they're using the word 'force' in its most violent sense. This toy includes a sawed off pump shotgun, a snub-nosed pistol, a serrated knife with built in brass knuckles, a baton, and a grenade. The inclusion of two badges is supposed to make the implied brutality okay, I suppose.
2. Killer Transforming Thomas
My kid goes apeshit over Thomas. And when he gets a hold of the iPad when we're not paying attention, he immediately kicks his feet up and chills to some highly inappropriate 80's Transformers cartoons on Netflix. If he could have a wet dream, this terrifying metal monstrosity would probably figure prominently. It's Thomas! It's a giant transforming robot! It's all nightmare. Like Thomas wasn't creepy enough, now we've given him the muscle to finally tell Sir Topham Hat to go to hell and the means to send him there. All that's missing is a gun, but you can always borrow one from the Police set.
1. Gay Cowboy Wear
There's only one place you can wear these boots-- Brokeback Mountain. And the hat is just...wow. Spangles, spangles, spangles. This is how Dorothy would have accessorized in the gay porn version of the Wizard of Oz. And you know what? She'd look awesome.